“God is in this building,” were the words of Principal Stanglin today at Achille Elementary School.
Senator Josh Brecheen reiterated those words as the Achille Community came together to dedicate their new learning facility for their children.
Kids are already learning in their brand new $2 million facility dedicated Monday.
A time capsule was opened from that day in 1964, early October, when the new Achille Elementary School was dedicated.
Everyone enjoying seeing the Durant Daily Democrat, Monday October 26, 1964 edition as displayed from the capsule.
It told of their new school while this edition tells of an even newer school today.
A new time capsule to be installed in the new school will undoubtedly contain a copy of the Durant Daily Democrat, just like your reading now.
A half century from now, some of these kids will remember this day, just as several remembered that day in 1964 when the $60,000 school was dedicated.
Mrs. Cheryl Onstott Winnett, a current teacher at Achille said, “I remember signing the scroll and it going inside the time capsule. I signed as Cheryl Diane Onstott.”
Her sister Susan Onstott was photographed back then by the photographer for the paper. She now is married to Achille resident Tad St. John. She said, “I was only 2nd grade. I remember a few things they put in the time capsule. I remember lots of bands performing.”
The Masons were in charge of that dedication and bands played after dignitaries gave speeches.
The builder of the school, Mid-Plains Construction’s Lane Morgan was on hand for the dedication.
Beene was proud that he was able to attend and said, “Mid-Plains did a great job, brought the project in under budget and completed it within the year we hoped for. They did a great job and Lane Morgan, we are very pleased with them.”
Seniors of 1965 probably have the most vivid memories of that day in 1964.
Jimmy Wright said, “I remember the Masons laying the cornerstone. I didn’t know I’d still be here. The Bible put inside the capsule was my Mother’s because my Daddy was a Mason.”
Lila Honts, another senior of class of 1965 said, “I remember that day well. We were officers in Future Homemakers of America. We signed the scroll that day. It’s a great day to be here today.”
Nowannah Lievsay Howell was as senior.
She said, “I remember fixing the capsule, but I didn’t remember what was in it. It’s nice to see it today.”
Achille School Superintendent Rick Beene said, “The total bond was $2.9 million, that included gym demolition at $100,000. The new elementary was over $2 million. Our old elementary was built over 50 years ago. The east end wasn’t operational. In summer of 2015 we had to make a decision to put several hundred thousand dollars into an old building or build a new building. The people decided over 79% that they wanted a new school.”
Sharia Ramey Nichols was a Junior that year.
Douglas Ramey was her father, who was on the 1964 School Board.
She said, “I remember that day well. Lots of bands performed. We had a tragedy right after that. My Dad, he passed away the next month after the time capsule. My Dad was 44.”
Carolyn Cranford was a junior that year, class of 1966. She said, “I remember getting out of class to watch it. It was an exciting day for Achille.”
Beene said among several other things, “one of the great features of our new school is the younger children have their own restroom. The old school, they were all together with the older students.”
The old Achille Elementary School was located in nearly the same location, but further in front, closer to the street.
Those who remember that building said it was the “old wooden floor school building.”
They said every morning the smell of the wax for the floors was the smell they remember well.
Thar building has long been gone, but many do remember attending the 1964 school that is still there.
Superintendent Beene said, “We thank God for this building. There are lots here who know we voted but we believe there was a higher calling for this.”
Many helped the event take place. He gave a lot of credit to his staff and teachers who he said, “Went door to door to talk to residents.”
He said they were the ones who made the school bond pass and were instrumental in the bond’s passing with voters.
Beene said First United, WoodmenLife and Achille Alumni were some of the many he appreciated help.
The Alumni donated the new flag pole. Beene said some alumni were still around and will remember both events.
The teachers and staff made the move from the old facility to the new school..
They worked tirelessly according to Beene to get the move done in time for the new school year.
He said, “they have done so much to make all this possible by doing the move themselves. They are the most talented and special group of people I’ve ever been around.”
Minister Roger Spears said, “This is more modern than the high school. I said are we still in Achille? Isn’t this great. I appreciate everyone here today. There are Christian people here today. We believe in Proverbs 22:6 that says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and he will not depart from it.”
He said he hopes the children remember this day, “50 years from now in Achille, Oklahoma.”
Lawmakers have been working diligently on the new state budgets and appropriations.
They are scrambling to find money to finance everything the state needs and wants for the future.
Senator Josh Brecheen was on hand and spoke to those gathered for the dedication.
He said, “We’ve been struggling in Oklahoma as lawmakers to make sure this is more than just a school, that it’s an inviting place. We want to make sure that teachers are paid what they are worth and the greatest predictor of the child’s success is the teacher. We live in a society today that is afraid to talk about the blessing of God. We are an exceptional nation because of Our Declaration of Independence. It says there is a Creator and our rights come from that Creator. The role of government is to secure those rights. It doesn’t’ get any simpler than that.”
Mr.Toby Isenberg opened the time capsule. He said that with his specialty being historian and Beene appointing him as historian for the event, it made some interesting teaching opportunities. He talked about the first thing and what he thought, they thought, was the most important symbol they put in the capsule.
He said, “I got to play Indiana Jones for a few minutes as I opened the time capsule. The last thing they put inside the time capsule, was the Holy Bible. That way, it was the first thing that would come out of the capsule.”
Principal Stanglin said, “We are so proud of this building. We thank God for it everyday.”